(7 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Although this sudden “end of contract” for which neither Kieth nor MSNBC supposedly has “nothing to do” with the acquisition of the network by Comcast/GE, I am left hoping that he can find a spot in Cable, where he can speak more plainly, and less hindered by the overwhelmingly neo-con television media.
I know many of you consider Kieth a sell-out, not quite “liberal” enough, but every fucking time they shut down a voice that dares to challenge the status quo, we all hurt.
(transcription ~ and my extended commentary ~ below)
Olbermann, before leaving the show with a final signature toss of his script toward the camera, thanked his audience for sticking with him. As was often his habit on Friday nights, he read a James Thurber short story, this one titled Scottie Who Knew Too Much and published in 1940.
The story’s final line: “It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all of the answers.”
I think the same fantasy has popped into the head of everybody in my business who has ever been told what I’ve been told, that this is going to be the last edition of your show. You go directly to the scene from the movie Network – complete with the pajamas and the rain coat – and you go off on an existential, other worldly verbal journey of unutterable profundity and vision, you damn the impediments, and you insist upon the insurrections, and then you emit Peter Finch’s guttural resonant, “So.” And you implore, you will the viewer to go to the window, open it, stick out his head and yell, well, you know the rest.
In the mundane world of television goodbyes, reality is laughably uncooperative. When I resigned from ESPN 13 1/2 years ago, I was literally given 30 seconds to say goodbye at the very end of my last edition of Sports Center. As God is my witness, in the commercial break just before the emotional moment, the producer got into my earpiece and he said, “Um, can you cut it down to 15 seconds so we can get in the tennis result from Stutgardt?”
So I’m grateful that I have a little more time to sign off here. Regardless, this is the last edition of Countdown. It is just under eight years since I returned to MSNBC. I was supposed to fill in for the late Jerry Nachman for exactly three days. Forty-nine days later, there was a four-year contract for me to return to this nightly 8 p.m. time slot which I had fled four years earlier. The show gradually established its position as anti-establishment from the stagecraft of “Mission Accomplished,” to the exaggerated rescue of Jessica Lynch in Iraq, to the death of Pat Tillman to Hurricane Katrina, to the “Nexus of Politics and Terror,” to the first “Special Comment.”
The program grew and grew thanks entirely to your support, with great rewards for me, and, I hope, for you, too, though on many occasions, particularly in the last two and a half years, where all that surrounded the show – but never the show itself – was just too much for me. But your support and loyalty – and if I may use the word “insistence” – ultimately required that I keep going. My gratitude to you is boundless, and if you think I’ve done any good here, imagine how it looked from this end as you donated $2 million to the National Association of Free Clinics, and my dying father watched from his hospital bed, transcendentally comforted that his struggles were inspiring such overwhelming good for people, he and I and you would never meet, but would always know.
This may be the only television program wherein the host was much more in awe of the audience than vice versa. You will always be in my heart for that and for the donations to the Cranik family in Tennessee and these victims of governmental heartlessness in Arizona, to say nothing of every letter and email and Tweet and wave and handshake and online petition. Time ebbs here, and I want to close with one more Thurber story. It is still Friday.
So let me thank my gifted staff here and just a few of the many people here who fought with me and for me. Eric Sorensen, Phil Alangi, Neal Shapiro, Michael Weissman, the late David Bloom, John Palmer, Alana Russo, Monica Novotny, my dear friends Rachel Maddow and Bob Costas and my greatest protector, and most indefatigable cheerleader, the late Tim Russert. And now, let me finish by turning again to this ritual of reading Thurber stories to you.
Rachel & Bill discuss this, and I am hoping against hope, that like Maher, K.O. will get a show on cable that lets him speak as plainly as Bill does, “Fuck them.”
Every loss of one of our own is another tiny cut in the death of a thousand tiny cuts.
I feel personally responsible for the loss of one of those voices, however tiny our audience at WWL Radio is, by having fired gottlieb. (although he quit in the same breath as I fired him) I never for a moment thought that that would silence his voice forever when it came to the wonderful and brilliant writing he produced. In truth? I never wanted him gone, I wanted him MORE. More involved, more committed to making the show a success, more I suppose than he was able to provide me and the show. Every time I open the switchboard, I wish he would magically appear. I want bigger things for WWL Radio. My original plan was to make him the star, he had the talent….and here I am thrust unwillingly into the spotlight as my Guest list improves, and the audience grows.
I will not let the dream of keeping a Left Voice alive go. Ever. But I am feeling like I was MSNBC by my former actions, today, and it is a horrible feeling.
Rachel is still there, I am sure feeling very tenuous about her position. Matthews? Ughh.
Soon, I fear, it will be all neo-con propaganda all the time on the television… just as on the web. dKos is a corporate voice for corporate swine. Most satellite blogs have been infiltrated by censors of LEFT-ISH free speech, or right wing operatives using the free speech clause to water down our message and run us off from the venom levels.
I liked Countdown, I liked Kieth’s heart… he has a good heart.
Today I mourn the loss of yet another good man, another voice silenced.
Fuck, fuck, fuck FUCK.
On to HBO with you Mr Olbermann, good luck and godspeed.